Arugula, Cantaloupe and Avocado Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette

July 24, 2011 at 9:52 am | Posted in Fruit, Salad Dressings, Salads | 44 Comments
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With soaring temperatures and our famous Rocky Ford Cantaloupe just hitting our markets does anything sound better than a fresh salad of fruit, greens, a citrus vinaigrette with a kick and topped with a creamy avocado? No way to describe this but simply delicious. You’ll notice I didn’t have any avocado on hand but did have some hearts of palm that made an impressive stand-in appearance.  Want to make it a main course?  Just add some shrimp that’s been cooked and cooled…like you’d prepare for shrimp cocktail. Thanks to Fresh and Foodie for posting this recipe.  Let’s take a look.

Arugula, cantaloupe and Avocado Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette (adapted from Fresh and Foodie):
• 5 ounces arugula, washed and spun dry
• 2 cups cubed seedless watermelon (I used cantaloupe)
• 1 avocado, cubed
• 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
• The juice of 1 lime
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a large salad bowl, toss the arugula and watermelon. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Add cubed avocado to the vinaigrette and toss very (very!) gently. This step prevents the avocado from browning in the salad.
3. Add vinaigrette and avocado to the salad bowl and lightly toss to combine. Top salad with freshly cracked pepper before serving.

Arugula, cantaloupe and Avocado Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette…It’s What’s for a Dinner Salad.

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Asian Chicken Salad with Wasabi Dressing

June 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Chicken, Light Meals, Salad Dressings, Salads | 26 Comments
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This is just a quick post with another great big little summer salad recipe. 

I’ve been out of town this week drenching myself in alpine tranquility, lazy mountain lake strolls, wildflower meadows and campfired evenings on our first trip of the season to the high country.

Knowing the trip was going to be another fatstravaganza food event, I took it easy before we left and whipped up this delicious summer salad.

Melissa Rubel over at Food and Wine does it again with this interesting combination of  flavors. And if you like wasabi, you’re going to love this double hit. This salad starts out soothing you with a fresh cool crunchy base of poached chicken, pear, cucumber and bean sprouts and then kicks your butt with a topping of wasabi peas and a creamy spicy wasabi dressing. Yum…eee.

Let’s take a look:

Asian Chicken Salad With Wasabi Dressing

  1. 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 3/4 pounds)
  2. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  3. 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  4. 2 1/2 tablespoons wasabi powder (I’m not sure I actually used that much – you may want to start with 1 1/2 T. and taste test as you add a little more at a time)
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  7. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  8. 2 heads Boston lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (I had spinach that I needed to use)
  9. 1 large Asian pear—halved, cored and thinly sliced (I used a regular ol pear)
  10. 1/2 seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the bias
  11. 2 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
  12. 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  13. 1/2 cup roasted wasabi peas, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, cover the chicken breasts with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook over moderately low heat until the chicken is white throughout, about 12 minutes. Transfer the poached chicken breasts to a plate and let stand until cooled slightly, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the rice vinegar, wasabi powder, Asian sesame oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons of water and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large serving bowl, toss the lettuce with the Asian pear slices, cucumber, scallions, bean sprouts and 2/3 cup of the wasabi dressing. Slice the chicken breasts crosswise 1/4 inch thick and lay the slices on top of the salad. Spoon the remaining wasabi dressing over the chicken breasts, sprinkle with the chopped wasabi peas and serve at once.

Serves 4

Asian Chicken Salad with Wasabi Dressing..

It’s What’s For a Summer Dinner and Souper Sunday

Tangy Flank Steak with Horseradish Cream and Wedge Salad

June 14, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Posted in Beef, Salad Dressings, Salads | 21 Comments
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About 12 years ago I jumped on the flank steak bandwagon and this was the first recipe I tried using this “new to me” cut of meat. It turned me into an instant flank steak fan.

Flank steak is so versatile and it seems to soak up every delicious flavor morsel of any marinade you toss its way. I’ve probably tried more than 20 different flank steak recipes, they’re all delicious but it seems I always fall back on this one when I browse the choices in my database.  

 

This recipe has such striking flavors when the tangy tender bite of steak meets the cool creamy flavor of the horseradish sauce, it’s a wonderful sensation to the palate.

For this meal, I served the steak with a Wedge Salad drizzled with a cool refreshing blue cheese dressing.  I found the dressing recipe last summer over at Noble Pig. Just like Cathy promised, it’s the best home-made blue cheese dressing I’ve found. And easy! I’m a fan of Maytag Blue Cheese, so I try never to settle for anything less. For the recipe please visit Cathy’s blog post.

The side is Lundberg’s Tuscan Risotto.  I really like their products and always have a couple of boxes in the pantry. I’ve tried a few other boxed risottos and none seem to measure up to the flavors and texture of Lundberg’s.

Here are the recipes:

Enjoy…

Tangy Flank Steak with Horseradish Cream

The diamond scoring pattern on the steak allows more surface area for the marinade. To bring out the flavor even further don’t forget the Horseradish Cream.

1 (1-pound) lean flank steak
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup thawed apple juice concentrate, undiluted
1 Tbs chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 Tbs prepared horseradish
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
Vegetable cooking spray
Horseradish Cream

1. Trim fat from steak. Score a diamond pattern on both sides of steak. Combine steak and next 5 ingredients (steak through Worcestershire sauce) in a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Seal bag, and marinate in refrigerator 8-12 hours, turning bag occasionally. Remove steak from bag; discard marinade.

2. Prepare grill or broiler. Place steak on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray, and cook 7 minutes on each side or until steak is desired degree of doneness. Cut steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve steak with Horseradish Cream.

Servings: 4

Horseradish Cream Sauce For Dipping

1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbs chopped green onions
1 Tbs prepared horseradish

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, and stir well. Cover and chill.

Servings: 4

Flank Steak With Horseradish Cream…

It’s Whats For Dinner.

One Year Ago:  Grilled Watermelon, Curry Shrimp and Mache Salad

A Great Little Find

May 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Posted in Lamb, Light Meals, Salad Dressings | 33 Comments
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I know this doesn’t look like much, but please believe me, it is “much”! 

Maybe I should have put a shiny fork across the salad bowl.  But not to fret, I’ll have plenty more photography chances with this one as I’ll definitely be serving it up over and over. 

I found this on Sunday while leisurely catching up on food magazine reading.   You see, I have this pile of food magazines next to the bed that can get quite unruly if I get behind on my reading. My husband calls it the “Rat’s Nest”. 

Currently in the Rat’s Nest, you’ll find Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Sunset, The Food Network Magazine…Oh, I guess you can count Wine Spectator too, since some of those wineries can put out some great little recipes here and there. 

I’ve been wanting to prepare lamb since Easter and haven’t done it, so this recipe with its interesting combination of lamb and cumin vinaigrette promptly received a sticky note to mark its location.

This salad is as texturally interesting as it is in flavor. Matchstick pieces of jicama, cucumber and carrot all with different levels of “crunch” make a fabulous combination as well as looking quite pretty. And tossed with that Cumin Vinaigrette…Lordy! Delicious. So delicious that you almost forget about those tender slices of grilled leg-0-lamb until they melt in your mouth with flavor. Did I mention easy? Especially easy using a mandolin for those matchsticks. Take a look:

I love Chef Sang Yoon’s comment for this creation:  “Lamb seasoned with cumin is very Indian, as well as Sichuan and Yunnan. But no one in Asia would serve lamb on a salad; that’s just me being Californian”.

You’ll find the recipe below, or hop on over to http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-lamb-salad-with-cumin-vinaigrette  to add it to your “favorites” over at foodandwine.com.  It’s really a more high tech method for marking recipes you want to try.  🙂

Grilled Lamb Salad With Cumin Vinaigrette, by Sang Yoon, February 2010 Issue, Food and Wine Magazine:

Ingredients

  1. One 1-pound piece boneless leg of lamb, about 3 inches thick
  2. 1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for rubbing
  3. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  4. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  5. 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  6. 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
  7. 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  8. Freshly ground white pepper
  9. 4 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
  10. One 6-ounce piece of jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  11. 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
  12. 1 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  13. 1/2 cup shredded basil, plus 4 sprigs
  14. 2 red jalapeños, seeded and sliced
  15. 4 cilantro sprigs

Directions

  1. Light a grill. Rub the lamb with oil, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the cumin and season with salt and black pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, mustard and the remaining 1 teaspoon of cumin. Whisk in the 1/4 cup of oil and season with salt and white pepper.
  3. Grill the lamb over moderate heat, turning a few times, until charred and medium-rare, about 12 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a carving board; let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the romaine with the jicama, carrot, cucumber, shredded basil and jalapeños. Add the dressing and toss well. Transfer to plates. Thinly slice the lamb and arrange the slices on the salad. Garnish with the cilantro and basil sprigs and serve.

Grilled Lamb Salad With Cumin Vinaigrette,
It’s What’s For Dinner!

Ina’s Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette and Odd Chili

September 17, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Posted in Chili, Salad Dressings | 8 Comments
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Wouldn’t it be kinda cool to be famous enough that when someone refers to you by first name that everyone automatically knows who they’re talking about?  Ina…Julia…Giada…Emeril. 

Even cooler is the fact that the world of blogging has brought us normal people celebrities.  We may not identify them by first name, but who doesn’t know everyone’s hometown hero Pioneer Woman.   I started my food blog in May.  My Facebook posts were commonly scrumptous teaser titles of what I was preparing for dinner.  Kind of a “here kitty kitty” to all of my friends.  Finally someone suggested that I start a blog.  What?  I had never read a blog, didn’t know anything about them.  Well, it didn’t take me long to get hooked.  The most pleasant surprise in my new world of blogging is finding so many interesting people who open up their kitchens and their lives to us with similar interests – everyday cooking and life.   

Thanks to blogging, I’d much rather read and cook along with Noble Pig and her mom as they make sauerkraut and pierogi’s.  I always look forward to an email notification of a new post from Karen in Wichita; great recipe ideas and beautiful pictures.  I don’t even know how I found Karen and Cathy, I guess just poking around on different blogs to see what other people were doing.   And see, I’m calling them by first name, have never met them, but feel like I know them better than a few of my neighbors.  I find this much more enjoyable and personal than cooking along with Giada in her perfect kitchen with a view of the perfect beach, with her perfect husband and her perfect friends.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Ina, a huge fan, I Tivo and watch Giada and have saved many of her recipes.  But now a days I’m much more likely to test a pizza recipe that Vickie in Montana posted rather than something I’ve recently seen on television or read in a magazine.   Much more personal, much more fun and easier to relate to.

Was I just on a soapbox?  Ok, back to Ina’s delicious dressing.

I hardly ever buy bottled dressings anymore.  Years ago, I discovered that one can lead a perfectly normal life without a bottle of  Wishbone in the refrigerator.  Homemade dressings are so easy, so delicious and so fresh and most will keep in the fridge for about a week and sometimes longer. 

One of my favorites is this creamy vinaigrette that I watched Ina make one day.  I love this dressing.  Her recipe states that if you’re afraid of the raw egg,  just omit.  I guess I’m not afraid of the raw egg.  I mean, should I be? I always use very fresh organic eggs, purchased at Whole Foods.  I just don’t think the recipe would be as creamy good without it.

Here’s Ina’s Recipe: 

Ina’s Green Salad with Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 3 Tbs Champagne vinegar
    1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
    1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
    1 extra-large egg yolk*, at room temperature
    3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
    1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 cup good olive oil
    Salad greens or mesclun mix for 6 to 8 people

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, egg yolk, salt, and pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Toss the greens with enough dressing to moisten and serve immediately.

Servings: 6

I served this along side Cincinnati Chili.  Cincinnati Chili is about the oddest concoction I’ve ever seen.  So odd, that I decided I better give it a try.  I have to admit, it’s pretty darn good, in a VERY odd sort of way. 

When Googling Cincinnati Chili there were many Cincinnati Chili recipes, lots of ideas, lots of similarities…but one common rule:

Cincinnati chili lovers order their chili by number. Two, Three, Four, or Five Way.

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  • Two-Way Chili: Chili served on spaghetti
  • Three-Way Chili: Additionally topped with shredded Cheddar cheese

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  • Four-Way Chili: Additionally topped with chopped onions
  • Five-Way Chili: Additionally topped with kidney beans

I don’t have any kidney beans on hand, so we’re ordering up four-way today.  

Cincinnati Chili

Adapted from Taste of Home

Slow Cooker

3 lbs ground beef
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
1-1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 square (1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Hot cooked spaghetti

1. In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, onions and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.

2. In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the beans, tomato sauce, broth, chili powder, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chocolate, cinnamon, cumin, salt, oregano, pepper and cloves. Stir in beef mixture.

3. Cover and cook on low for 5-1/2 to 6 hours or until heated through. Serve with spaghetti. Yield: 10 servings.

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